When God feels a million miles away
Thursday, May 31st, 2018
I mentioned in the last blog post about the most painful of sessions with my life coach. I’ve continued to look back on April and wonder – what the heck was that and how did I get there? So glad that month is over.
I genuinely think I was dealing with a situational depression of sorts. I know a couple of the factors that played in – parenting being one of the biggies for sure. And I’m also more than surprised that instead of clinging to God – I started to pull away from Him (why this takes me by surprise every time, I’m not sure!). Pulling away from God did not help matters one bit. In fact, it made things worse.
My daily alone time to read some of God’s truth gave way to hitting snooze on my alarm three to four times. My desire to stay connected to God throughout the day with a skip in my heart gave way to wondering where He was and why He wanted to make my life so hard.
The gap started to widen.
It reminded me of the downward spiritual spiral I experienced just three years into my healing journey.
I wanted a break from recovery.
What I didn’t realize was that recovery and God were closely linked. We had just moved to Denver and I was struggling to connect with other believers. My heart started to slowly distance from God. And before I knew it – I started wondering why would God allow the pain I had endured in my marriage. That little break from recovery turned into a full-fledged spiritual crisis that lasted a good three years.
So back to last month – I knew deep down that the one thing I DID NOT want to happen was for my relationship with God to suffer. And yet – how could I be true and real in the midst of my difficult season? Could I even say I was struggling spiritually?
In some ways – I felt like that wasn’t an option. “I mean come on now, I thought, people are counting on me. I’ve got to be strong! I’ve got to persevere. And even if I need to fake it – I better do so.”
Stop the press – this is completely antithetical to what I teach and preach and emulate in my day to day.
What was I thinking?!
Someone wise proceeded to tell me – just because I’m questioning God and in a season of distrust with Him doesn’t disqualify me from helping others! So to even think I needed to fake my relationship with God – no way.
At about this time – someone mentioned feeling distant from God in one of my groups and it opened up the door for me to say – “Me too”. The heavy weight started to lift. It wasn’t just me, it wasn’t just her – there were several of us.
I realized – although for some of us on this journey – our faith is what keeps us hemmed in – for others of us – there is a real spiritual crisis that we find ourselves walking through.
The latter can be down right scary.
Note to self – this is a critical part of the process if you find yourself here. To have the space to question God. To say things like – I don’t understand God’s timing. I don’t understand His ways. I don’t think He hears me. In fact, I’m pretty sure He is a million miles away.
It’s hard stuff to say. And hard stuff to hear. Especially when there are no answers in the moment that can offer much reassurance.
I’ve noticed for myself that feeling and being heard can sometimes be the best medicine. Not necessarily an answer but rather someone simply saying – “I hear you and you’re not crazy. It makes perfect sense. Me too.”
So if you’re finding yourself strong-arming God and questioning His goodness (for instance, you might be reading this and asking – what goodness?!) – I want you to know you are safe here. You are not alone. This is incredibly common for women walking this journey of betrayal. I’d love to hear more about what you are struggling with. I might not have the answers but I can tell you I get it. I’ve been there. And surprisingly (or not!), I’ll be there again.